Post-irony (from the Latin, post- "after", and Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance) is a term used to connote a state in which earnest and ironic intents become muddled, or less commonly, a return from irony to earnestness, similar to New Sincerity.
Examples of post-ironic artwork include South African band Die Antwoord and the Werner Herzog film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Noted anti-humor comedian Tim Heidecker portrays a man living a post-ironic lifestyle in The Comedy.
This term has become increasingly popular, and has some detractors:
...there are a number of misconceptions about irony that are peculiar to recent times....the eighth is that "post-ironic" is an acceptable term - it is very modish to use this, as if to suggest one of three things: i) that irony has ended; ii) that postmodernism and irony are interchangeable, and can be conflated into one handy word; or iii) that we are more ironic than we used to be, and therefore need to add a prefix suggesting even greater ironic distance than irony on its own can supply. None of these things is true.
—Zoe Williams, The Guardian
- Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, v. sub εἰρωνεία.
- Collins, Matthew. “Post-irony is real, and so what?”, The Georgetown Voice, March 4, 2010
- Williams, Zoe. "The final irony" The Guardian June 27, 2003
- Hirschorn, Michael. "Diary" Slate Magazine
- Shaviro, Steven. “Prophecies of the Present,” Socialism and Democracy, vol. 24, no.2